The purpose of the article is to analyze the issue of cybercrime as a contemporary security threat as it relates to awareness levels and behavior of an individual in the cyberspace. Based on the empirical research performed in Slovenia and United States of America, the article discusses the issue of user awareness in the field of cybercrime, their consequent preventive behavior in the cyberspace, and their attitude toward law enforcement agencies with the aim of establishing the crucial differences between perception, knowledge and actual behavior of individuals based on their physical everyday environment (Slovenia and USA).
For the purpose of this article, an empirical research involving two groups of participants, a group of individuals from Slovenia and a group of individuals from the United States of America, was performed. Non-experimental research method was used; a survey questionnaire was used for collection of data regarding the level of familiarity, opinion and behavior of individuals as it relates to the issue of cybercrime.
The research found an important discrepancy between the level of awareness regarding online safety and the actual behavior of individuals in the virtual environment, which does not differ due to the physical location of the individual. However, when it comes to the feeling of safety, the physical location of an individual influences his/her feeling of safety while in cyberspace; namely, the research found that the participants living and working in a small country (Slovenia) are also feeling safer in the virtual environment than do the participants living and working in a large country (United States of America). Furthermore, in the framework of this research, we found a concerning level of distrust and skepticism regarding the investigative capabilities of law enforcement in the field of cybercrime, which results in potentially lower reporting rate and consequent lower level of prosecution cases. In terms raising the level of awareness of the general public with the aim of reaching a high level of safeguarding behavior, the level of activities related to awareness, as well as activities related to raising the level of trust in the capabilities of law enforcement, should be increased.
Research limitations / implications:
Research limitations are primarily due to the manner of data collection, since we used the snowball sampling method. Additionally, the number of participants if rather low; therefore, further research should be broadened in order to include a wider population range.
The research results have practical value in the field of the implementation of the processes of cybercrime prevention, and primarily in the field of raising the level of awareness of the general public regarding the importance of personal information safety, since our research confirmed a discrepancy between the level of knowledge and the level of actual implementation of the basic techniques of information safety assurance.
The article discusses the issue of cybercrime and information security in Slovenia and the United States of America. We attempted to find the key differences between safeguarding knowledge and behavior of individuals based on their physical living environment. The findings of the research represent a starting point for further comparison of the incidence of cybercrime and implementation of information security.|